5 Life Lessons Every Scout Learns

5 Life Lessons Every Scout Learns

These skills are something that I'll take with me throughout my life.

One of the things that I don't regret doing while growing up is being a part of the Boy Scouts of America. Sure, there was some jokes and teasing from others, but looking back at it, I wouldn't have changed it. There were some times I was fed up with my peers, and other times when I had a great time. But there's something that the organization did help me achieve and that is the many life skills that I learned throughout the years. These skills are ones that have helped me pitch and lead my Boy Scout Eagle Rank Project (the highest rank as a youth in the organization), as well as participate in a National Youth Leadership Training course to help other youths learn these skills. This year I will be attending the seminar as an adult volunteer, but will still be working with youth to channel their inner leadership skills. Here are a few skills that I picked up in my Scouting career that everyone should have.

1) Leadership - If anyone has had a job or has done group work in class, you'd notice that someone is in charge. In a work environment, your boss may not actually be able to lead, express their ideas and thoughts, or control a situation. This is an example of someone who doesn't have leadership skills. A leader is there to assist their peers, share ideas, and help with the work. They should be able to help diffuse a situation and should try to achieve the overall goal of the job - success.

2) Public Speaking - Public Speaking is an essential skill to have in a schooling environment, as well as a work environment. Being able to get up in front of 30 or more people and give a presentation on a topic is something that your boss may have you do as part of your job. This skill can also help if you are seeking to talk at a TEDx event about a topic or issue that you're passionate about. Tips for this skill include having nice posture, not speaking with your hands as much, stopping the use of filler or thinking words (um, like, yeah, etc.), and if you are using a presentation aid, such as PowerPoint slides, not to look back at the screen.

3) Being Prepared - This skill is probably a very basic one, but you'd be surprised how many people don't practice this. Disaster can happen at any time, and you should be ready for the worst. In fact, the Boy Scout Motto is to Be Prepared. In the organization, we strive to teach everyone the importance of being prepared for an event, task, or situation that may arise. This could be knowing a skill, having correct gear or materials for an event, or just knowing what to do in an event.

4) Volunteering - Giving back to the community is something everyone should be doing. Easy ways for achieving this is to donate money, old clothes, or old household items, work in a soup kitchen, volunteer time at a local animal shelter, or spend some time with senior citizens to keep them company. In scouting, any youth who wants to attain the Eagle Scout rank has to do a leadership project. Usual projects include building signs for towns and cemeteries, renovating church courtyards, donation drives, and other building projects. For my project (which was done about 3 years ago and about 50 extra pounds), I did a donation drive for Pets Alive, a local no-kill animal shelter. I was able to give back to the community, as well as help out little fur-balls who needed supplies!

5) Goal Setting - Setting a goal for yourself is a great way to try and achieve something. In scouting, we have tried to instill a motto on how to set goals, and that is using SMART goal planning. The SMART acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Making goals in this manner will help you achieve your full vision of the future, and for you to achieve your dream.

Even though I have aged out of the youth portion of the Boy Scouts of America, I now volunteer as an Adult Leader. I can still help youth, as well as other adults, learn these skills and teach them how to use them in everyday life. If you are looking into joining a Boy Scout style program, but are over 18, fear not! Until you are 21, you can join a Venture Crew! They do a lot of the same things that the Boy Scouts of America does, but allows older "youth" scouters. But what if you're over 18? Again, fear not! You can still join a local Scout troop and volunteer as an adult leader. The Boy Scouts of America holds seminars for adult leaders to learn these same skills that the youth are learning.

Cover Image Credit: Boy Scouts of America

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9 Things Every Procrastinator Can Relate To

You promise yourself you'll never do it again, and yet...

I would consider myself a fairly good student. I've gotten pretty good grades my whole life and I was fortunate enough to get into an amazing school like UF. However, I wasn't able to get to where I am today by planning out assignments ahead of time. I instead, unfortunately, put myself through unnecessary stress by procrastinating and often waiting to start assignments until I absolutely had to. I've gotten pretty good at it over the years, despite it being a habit I hate. If you're prone to procrastinating like I am, you've probably experienced some of these all too familiar scenarios.

1. When everyone else has already finished and you haven't even started.

Everyone else in the class cares about their mental health and their sanity but you like to live on the edge at all times.

2. But you tell yourself you've got plenty of time.

Denial is a great coping mechanism.

3. After writing the header you feel like you deserve a break from all your hard work.

What can I say, choosing a title can be exhausting!

4. There's that feeling of panic you get when hurrying to get something done.

The anxiety usually lasts longer than how long it would take to finish your work in the first place.

5. That eventually turns into a strange sense of calm and numbness.

This special wave of calm can be just what you need to avoid that previously mentioned anxiety attack.

6. Sometimes it can even be your way of getting an adrenaline rush.

Do you like to go skydiving for your rush? I like to finish an assignment minutes before collection. Exhilarating.

7. That feeling of shock when you don't get an amazing grade, even though you procrastinated.

How dare the teacher award a better grade to someone who actually spent time and effort on their work!

8. You promise yourself every time that you'll change your procrastinating ways.

Somehow, you got everything done even though you procrastinated. But, you promise you won't put yourself through all of that stress again.

9. ...but then ending up in the same mess once again.

What else is new? Back to the grind.

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